Fylde Coast GPs: ‘We’re here to help you’

Dr Ben Butler-Reid

People living in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre have been reminded GP practices and pharmacies are still here for you despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

While people may find they have to access appointments in new ways, practices are still able to look after patients who need appointments or help managing their health conditions.

All 36 GP practices on the Fylde Coast are seeing the vast majority of patients remotely over the phone or via video consultation. However anyone requiring to be seen for a face to face appointment will be invited to go into the practice.

And pharmacies remain open as usual, although social distancing measures must continue to be observed while accessing medication.

Dr Ben Butler-Reid, a Blackpool GP and clinical director at NHS Blackpool and NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “If anyone needs an appointment at their GP practice they can and should make one. And if you need medication or advice for minor health concerns, pharmacists are still there to help.

“GP practices are still here for you. Your appointment may be carried out over the phone rather than you coming into the practice, but if you do need to be seen then you will be. 

“It is so important that we don’t let COVID-19 stop us looking after the other essential health needs of people living on the Fylde Coast, so please don’t wait. If you need us, give us a call.”

All GP practices on the Fylde Coast are now able to carry out video consultations with patients.

Declan Hadley, digital lead for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System, said:

“As many people are becoming more confident with using video calls to chat with friends and family, this service has really taken off in primary care too.

“The number of video appointments has risen each month since the social distancing guidelines. Across Lancashire and South Cumbria, this has grown from 168 in February to 3,988 in March and up to 11,410 in April.

“Safe and secure video consultations are an important way for the NHS to ensure that it is still there for the people that need it during the coronavirus pandemic. The many benefits for patients in terms of convenience and reduced travel that mean video consultations will continue to be there as an option for them in the future too.”

Local people are encouraged to download the MyGP app to enable secure video consultations with their practice. You can also use the app to book appointments, order your repeat prescriptions online and view summary medical records.

If you need urgent medical help, use the NHS111 online service. If you cannot get help online, call 111. If it’s a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 999.

You can find more information about maternity and other services  which are still here for you on our NHS still here for you page.